Meet Mrs. Even Steven Money
Hi, personal finance and financial independence community this is Mrs. Even Steven Money here! I am very excited to be guest posting for the very first time. Today I want to share a few experiences with you about my background and some of my financial experiences. Before I begin I want to say there is truly no one right way to do things, I believe part of sharing via this blog is to learn the various ways people are achieving financial independence or dealing with their own personal finances.
I was born in Nicaragua but grew up in sunny Florida since I was four years old. Growing up my family did not have much in terms of money, but we had everything we needed. My dad was an accountant back home in Nicaragua, but when he moved to the U.S.A. the language barrier definitely impacted the opportunities he had, although this was not something that would stop him.
My dad is the hardest working man I know and my mom the greatest financial planner. So needless to say they make a great team! My parents hated debt from the beginning and even though they had endless opportunities to drown in debt and pay the minimum payments they never did. They always made sure we had all our needs covered and found clever ways to keep a family of 5 happy on one income. For example going out to fancy restaurants was not an option for us but we (the kids) didn’t even notice because we were out at the park or the beach grilling some yummy carne asada! Every weekend we were out and about enjoying our family and the outdoors. Mr. Even Steven Money probably wishes I was more like my parents in this area because I do like to splurge a little on eating out and love to take my family to new restaurants. I mainly enjoy it since we could not do it much when I was a child, now that I have the opportunities and means I like to share that with my family and indulge myself a little as well.
My parents would have one or two things they would splurge a little more money on, but it was all well thought out and budgeted for, no debt needed. For one of my birthdays my parents asked me if I would like a birthday party or a trip to Disney, of course, I chose Disney!!! We would stay at the most affordable motel that was close to the park. Who cares if it wasn’t one of the 5 star hotels, I basically only spent a few hours in the motel because we would literally spend all day and night at the park from opening time until the fireworks lit up the sky. My parents were awesome for being able to last that long! Me…I was just the happiest kid on earth hanging out with Mickey and his friends. My parents offered the same birthday options for me about 3 more times and I always chose Disney. Sure it would have been great to have a birthday party, but in my world Disney won hands down. It was nice they gave me an option and they knew their limitations. No keeping up with the Jones’s in our household!
I feel like my parents set a great financial example for me to follow. The first financial decision I needed to make was when I was finishing high school. How was I going to pay for college? I would be the first generation going to college in my family so this road was new territory for me. I knew I wanted to find a way to get out of college debt free or at least with minimal debt. I studied hard to get good grades and the required test scores to qualify for a scholarship while, in high school, this would take care of the tuition for any in-state university. The best options for looking at universities on a budget for me was to look for in-state and why not stay home with my parents, this saved me a lot of money on food and housing. Sure I was sacrificing the whole college experience, living away from home, but I was happy with my decision. I graduated with an Accounting and Finance degree with $0 debt! During this time period is when I met Mr. Even Steven Money, he was more of a party animal back then ;). I always admired his adventurous side. I mean he was a transfer student from Wisconsin to Miami for a year and then transferring to Europe for another semester. That sounds and was a fantastic experience for him! I just didn’t really know how he was doing it all, and didn’t ask at that time (Mr. Even Steven Money note: I think we all know where that money was coming from…..student loans). I love to travel and I hope to visit Europe soon with him and without having to break our bank account.
One of the biggest financial mistakes anyone can make is trying to live above your means. This will not only cause you financial hardship, but it will negatively impact your family which in my opinion is most important. Like they say money can buy a lot of things but it can’t buy you happiness.